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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever NOT used a real estate agent to sell their home?

What was your experience like? How did you get buyers to view your home without using MLS? What mistakes did you make, and how would you have improved if you were to do it again?
 

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I have not sold my home but I just helped the owner sell a 2.2 million townhouse complex so I feel able to answer this question. We started in August and it sold in January and the closing was on the 15th of March.

We put an ad in the Toronto Star. That's it.

The most irritating thing about it was the number of agents that called to tell us to list with them. Most claimed they had buyers. I told them that if they had buyer to bring them by and we would be happy to pay a commission. Of the hundreds that called only two brought buyers.

I had a friend who "tried" to sell her house privately. All she did was put a sign up outside her house. Again she got tons of phone calls from agents and some people trying to get a steal. She "tried" for 2 weeks which really isn't a decent time frame IMHO.

People do sell their houses privately and are successful. There are also websites that specialize in FSBO listed properties. They charge around $500 which seems a bit high to me, but they may provide additional assistance I am not aware of.
 

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My parents sold their farm private and the lawyers fees were huge. They save a little, don't think it was worth the aggravation.
 

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We know a couple who have only ever sold their houses on their own. They have never used an agent. They can't understand why we used an agent when we sell.

This couple tend to live in high-demand neighbourhoods. In all three instances, it was word of mouth. They sold their first house to a neighbour's sister, their second house to a co-worker's relative and the third to a neighbour looking to upsize. They had time on their side. It took a few months for each house to sell. In each instance, they didn't have to be out of their current house by a certain date. They advertised locally but I don't think they put a sign on their lawn.
 

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My parents sold their farm private and the lawyers fees were huge. They save a little, don't think it was worth the aggravation.
All agents do is fill out the agreement of purchase and sale. The lawyer's fee's would have been huge anyways IMHO. Not sure how much they sold it for but the bigger the property the more benefit to the owners getting together to hammer out the details.
 

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It was mid 500k farm. The lawyers worked out the purchase agreement and I always thought they hired the wrong lawyer. Running for fed. politics ect. Dad still thinks not worth it.
 

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Has anyone ever NOT used a real estate agent to sell their home?

What was your experience like? How did you get buyers to view your home without using MLS? What mistakes did you make, and how would you have improved if you were to do it again?
I sold my last home using Comfree in Manitoba. I paid $499 to them. For this fee they put a sign in front of my property and advertised on their website and in their weekly booklet. Once the buyer completed the offer to purchase (provided by Comfree) and I accepted it, we turned it over to our lawyers to do the rest.

My parents have sold all their homes privately without any hitches. As well, my ex-next-door-neighbor sold their home privately without any problems.
 

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I have not sold my home but I just helped the owner sell a 2.2 million townhouse complex so I feel able to answer this question. We started in August and it sold in January and the closing was on the 15th of March.

We put an ad in the Toronto Star. That's it.

The most irritating thing about it was the number of agents that called to tell us to list with them. Most claimed they had buyers. I told them that if they had buyer to bring them by and we would be happy to pay a commission. Of the hundreds that called only two brought buyers.

I had a friend who "tried" to sell her house privately. All she did was put a sign up outside her house. Again she got tons of phone calls from agents and some people trying to get a steal. She "tried" for 2 weeks which really isn't a decent time frame IMHO.

People do sell their houses privately and are successful. There are also websites that specialize in FSBO listed properties. They charge around $500 which seems a bit high to me, but they may provide additional assistance I am not aware of.
Comfree is 600 bucks to list. This gets you web listed plus listed in the magazine, sign, paperwork, etc. Well worth the money.

Agents most likely do not have a buyer when they call a private listing. My dad had this happen, and he told the agent he would give them a 24 hour exclusive listing for 1% commission. They turned him down. 5K for no work since the buyer was "ready".

Agents are bottom feeding scum.
 

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bean438 "Agents are bottom feeding scum. " :rolleyes:

Tell us how you really feel.:eek:

I said the same thing in another post, only I used nicer words and I got chewed out. Good to see people feel the same as I do.;)
 

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I'm with Bean on this one.

As for an MLS listing I read today in CREA's response to the competition Tribunal about some cheaper MLS listings available. You may still have to pay an cooperating broker (buyer's agent) commission. You can decide what to set this commission at.

Best Value Realty (Ontario) $109 - www.bestvalue.biz
Remax 1% commission + 2.5% to buyer's agent - www.saveoncommission.ca
Calgary Discount Realty $579 - www.calgarydiscountrealestate.com
Donald Hewie Brokerage flat MLS fee + 1-3% commission - www.hewie.com
MLSBy Owner - $279 - $599 flat fee - www.mlsbyowner.net

In any case these kinds of services are popping up left right and centre now that the competition board is onto them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have seen quite a few signs in my area (King West in Toronto) with signs by Property Guys. Trouble is, none of them seem to be selling. I think realtors will refuse to show a "independant seller" house to their clients. I would love to try to sell my own house, but would hate the stress of my place sitting unviewed for months on end.

I am watching what's happening with MLS with great interest...
 

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@ Alexandra

You are correct that realtors will refuse to show your property. In fact they often won't even show lower commission listings by other real estate agents.

The MLS listing service above for $109 is available in Toronto. You can pay the other half of the commission 2.5% but you will still save 2.5% - $109 or about 10,000 plus HST (depending on your house price)

Also for those who are interested I should have a post going up on www.milliondollarjourney.com about this very issue. I read the entire case and put my conclusions on the whole issue up for the whole world to comment :)
 

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@ Alexandra

You are correct that realtors will refuse to show your property. In fact they often won't even show lower commission listings by other real estate agents.

The MLS listing service above for $109 is available in Toronto. You can pay the other half of the commission 2.5% but you will still save 2.5% - $109 or about 10,000 plus HST (depending on your house price)

Also for those who are interested I should have a post going up on www.milliondollarjourney.com about this very issue. I read the entire case and put my conclusions on the whole issue up for the whole world to comment :)
I think you might have to pay the buying agents commission. The fact is that when you sell yourself, you only really save the selling agent commission.

Eventually there will be lots of buyers without agents but right now - if you don't pay it then you are reducing your buying pool by quite a bit.
 

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I think you might have to pay the buying agents commission. The fact is that when you sell yourself, you only really save the selling agent commission.

Eventually there will be lots of buyers without agents but right now - if you don't pay it then you are reducing your buying pool by quite a bit.
Well, the listing your property on MLS for $109 is a good start. Even if you give your buyer's agent 2.5%, you still save some coin.

But the question is, how does the buyer make appointments with the seller to show the property? I would assume the $109 listing does not offer any of the brokers service. WOuld you just put your home number on MLS and wait for calls of interested people?
 

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http://www.bestvalue.biz/buyers.htm

How will buyers contact you?
Under current Real Estate Board rules, we cannot put your personal contact information in the public remarks section of the listing.

However, there is a simple solution that allows buyers to contact you directly.

Our solution is to add a link to the MLS® listing that buyers can use to see your contact information. This link is located on top of the main picture when your listing is shown on MLS.ca or REALTOR.ca

This makes it easy for buyers to contact you, all they have to do is click on one link!

Important Note:
You should be aware that some agents don't like that idea that you have the option to sell privately. For them, it means that they have one less chance to make a sale. Of course, that is only true if the buyer would have used their services in the first place, which is likely not the case.

Moreover, such agents are of the view that the MLS® system should not allow the option to sell privately. But this is really just another way of saying that they don't like competition or different business models for that matter. To them, the only choice you should have is to whom you are going to pay a 5% commission rate.

The good news is that many agents are coming to the realization that the real estate industry is changing. Our service is all the evidence you need!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So what has been these people's strategy for still getting the realtors to show people their home? If I list independantly through Best Value Realty, would I put right on the listing that I am willing to pay the buyer's commission for those who have agents? Or is that a stupid strategy?

The fact is that I think my house will sell itself. It's a perfectly-maintained, fully-updated Victorian 3-bedroom home with a separate basement bachelor apartment in King West. When we bought it, we won a bidding war, and the home had only been on the market for a weekend. We have made amazing improvements to the place, and the few homes in the area that are for sale are being snatched up immediately.

I think we could get $800,000 for it without any effort. The thought of handing over $20,000 to someone for literally no work makes my stomach turn.

But I also know from experience in selling in the past that I get very nervous when my for-sale home sits on the market for longer than a week or two.

My husband and I have thought about taking out huge one-page ads in the local papers to try to get people to come to a weekend open house. Has anyone ever done this?
 

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I think you should try to sell without offering anything to the buying agent. If it doesn't work you can always change your offer later on. You also don't have to offer 2.5% - maybe try 1%?

Not sure about the newspaper ad - I think if you can get it listed on MLS and have a sign out front then that is good enough. Newspaper ads are expensive.

The limiting factor is going to be that most (I think) of your potential buyers are probably under contract with an agent so they won't be able to buy your house without compensating their agent.

<start rant>

This is one of the problems of a system where the seller pays both agents. In an ideal world (which we might see eventually) the buyers should pay their agent for services rendered (percentage amount, fixed amount, per hour amount or whatever) and the seller does the same.
 
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